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At a glance: Yemen

Yemen conflict: A devastating toll for children

© UNICEF Yemen Video
Since the conflict escalated in March 2015, UNICEF has increased its response and provided lifesaving supplies and services across the country including in some of the most hard to reach areas.


>> Latest:

25/11/2017: UNICEF plane landed in Sana’a airport today with lifesaving vaccines for children in Yemen

16/11/2017: UN Leaders appeal for immediate lifting of humanitarian blockade in Yemen – Millions of lives at imminent risk

10/11/2017: The impact of the closure of all air, land and sea ports of Yemen on children 

09/11/2017: Statement by UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake on the situation in Yemen

>> Watch:
Stop the war on children: UNICEF's appeal on the children of Yemen


The conflict in Yemen has taken a devastating toll, particularly on the most vulnerable members of society: children.

Even before the outbreak of conflict in March 2015, Yemen faced challenges from widespread poverty, food insecurity and lack of health services.

But now, more than 20 million people – over 70 per cent of the population – are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance. The country’s infrastructure has been destroyed and its health services crippled.

More than 5,000 civilians have been killed and nearly seven million people do not know where their next meal will come from. Almost 400,000 children are at risk of death from severe acute malnutrition. Even after the conflict ends, the effects of malnutrition – stunted growth and delayed cognitive development – may linger. In the worst cases, it is fatal.

The number of out-of-school children – already high before the conflict – has ballooned. Millions of children have been affected by school closures. Education for these children cannot wait.

The country’s water and sanitation infrastructure has also been ravaged, posing serious health risks. Restrictions on the importation of fuel have disrupted the delivery of water to millions of people in one of the most water-scarce countries on Earth. Fuel shortages have also curtailed access to health care, as hospitals are unable to power the generators they need to function.

On 6 October 2016, health authorities in Yemen confirmed a cholera outbreak, posing a major health risk to the population – especially children – given the crumbling health system in the country. As of October 2017, 894,225 suspected cases of acute watery diarrhea (AWD) / cholera had been reported in 22 of 23 governorates, although the number of new cases was declining.

UNICEF is working hard to alleviate the effects of the conflict on children and families by delivering lifesaving services and supplies, including health, nutrition and vaccination services for mothers, newborns and children; preparing for potential disease outbreaks; expanding treatment services for children with malnutrition; and supporting displaced families through provision of safe water and hygiene facilities.

UNICEF and its partners urgently need to secure funding. Yemen’s needs are great to provide the most basic health, education and protection services in 2017.

>> Learn more about the humanitarian situation for children in Yemen



Watch: Videos from UNICEF Yemen

Combating malnutrition in Yemen

A day in the life of one Muhamasheen boy

>>  See more videos from UNICEF Yemen


Meet: Children and families affected by the crisis

a child battling malnutrition

a determined student

a child fighting cholera

>>  Read more stories and perspectives from Yemen


Read: The latest press releases and statements


Statement attributable to Meritxell Relaño, UNICEF Representative in Yemen

Malnutrition amongst children in Yemen at an all-time high, warns UNICEF


UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake statement on ceasefire agreement in Yemen




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Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa

Voices from UNICEF Yemen staff

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